Skip to main content

February 20, 2023 at 5:00 AM
running uphil.png

Ways to treat Achilles tendonitis without surgery

If you're reading this, chances are you or someone you know is dealing with Achilles tendonitis. This annoying condition can cause pain which then leads to stiffness in the back of the leg, making it difficult to exercise, walk or even stand. Treatment options range from resting and icing the area to surgery, but there are also some less invasive ways to deal with Achilles tendonitis. In this blog post, we'll explore some of those options and offer tips on how to prevent Achilles tendonitis in the first place. Keep reading to learn more!

Rest – this is the most important thing you can do for your injury. Take a break from running or other activities that put strain on your Achilles tendon.

When dealing with an Achilles injury, rest and activity modification is key for improvement. There are many benefits to controlled periods of rest: it allows the Achilles tendon to repair, decreases inflammation associated with an Achilles strain, and prevents a more serious long term injury from occurring. Resting from running or other activities that put strain on your Achilles helps reduce further irritation and can ultimately lead to a faster recovery. Cross training or switching to activities that do not irritate the Achilles tendon can be helpful.

Ice – to reduce swelling, apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes several times a day.

Achilles tendinitis is a common cause of inflammation and swelling in the Achilles tendon, causing acute or chronic pain. To help reduce the swelling caused by Achilles tendinitis, adding ice to your routine can be effective. Simply apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes, several times a day. The cold temperature from the ice helps numb the surrounding nerves and relaxes the muscles, both of which help reduce inflammation. Additionally, it can also limit blood flow to the area temporarily to lessen any further irritation or discomfort. For best results when dealing with Achilles tendinitis, try adding a regular ice routine into your daily habits! To avoid frostbite, a frozen bag or peas or corn is helpful.

Compression – wrapping your ankle with an ACE bandage or Lasso or compression socks can also help reduce swelling.

It is common knowledge that Achilles tendonitis often causes pain, especially when engaging in certain activities. Fortunately, applying a compression device to the affected ankle can help reduce inflammation and the accompanying swelling. ACE bandages, Lasso socks, and specially designed compression socks are excellent solutions for Achilles tendonitis sufferers who are looking to relieve their discomfort. Compression also provides extra stability for ankles by supporting the tendons nearby, which means less risk for further injury down the line. Adopting a reliable preventative measure such as using an Ace bandage or Lasso or compression sock may help Achilles tendonitis sufferers lead healthier and more active lives.

Elevation – prop your foot up above the heart level when you’re sitting or lying down to reduce blood flow to the area and further reduce swelling.

Achilles tendon injuries are usually accompanied by inflammation and swelling, making it difficult to activate the Achilles effectively. However, simple strategies like elevating the foot above heart level when sitting or lying down can help reduce blood flow to the area and further stem the tide of inflammation. By keeping your Achilles at an elevated level, you can support proper healing for any injury so that you're up and running again in no time.

Pain relief – over-the-counter oral medications like ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) or topical medications like diclofenac (Voltaren) cream can help relieve pain and inflammation associated with Achilles tendonitis.

Achilles tendonitis can be a crippling condition that causes pain and inflammation, sorely affecting mobility. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can provide some relief, by reducing the inflammation in the Achilles tendon. Topical creams, like Voltaren gel, sometimes are more effective since the Achilles tendon is directly beneath the skin. Of course, medication alone won't solve the problem. Achilles tendonitis requires a multifaceted approach to heal properly – including rest, ice, stretches, and physical therapy. Advil and Aleve are just one of many components of Achilles tendonitis recovery that can help improve overall quality of life.

Physical therapy – exercises overseen by a physical therapist can stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons around your Achilles, decrease inflammation, and speed up healing and prevent future injuries

Physical therapy is an important part of Achilles tendon recovery. By performing prescribed exercises, physical therapists are able to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons around Achilles to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. This, in turn, can help prevent future injuries from occurring. Physical therapy for Achilles tendon treatments focuses on restoring flexibility, strength, and coordination back into that joint so that it is ready for any activities or sports you may have planned in the near future.

In conclusion, any injury to the Achilles tendon should be taken seriously. Rest, ice, compression, elevation and pain relief are all key elements to relieve pain and swelling associated with Achilles tendonitis. Along with these remedies, physical therapy can help stretch and strengthen the muscles around the Achilles for speedy healing and prevention of future injuries. Ultimately, if your injury does not get better with conservative treatments such as these, it is time to see an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon. A surgeon will be able to determine if there has been any tearing or rupturing of your Achilles tendon that needs repair. It is always best to take action sooner in order to prevent further problems or complications from developing down the line. So if you have any doubts about an Achilles injury that you may have sustained, do not wait - seek medical advice immediately!

Selene G. Parekh, MD, MBA

We're here to help!
We’re a no-judgment zone, so feel free to come to us with any questions or concerns.